Wednesday, October 17, 2012

The Healing Benefits of Honey

Raw Honey from a local Farmer's Market
My two year old daughter gets skin irritations.  When she gets these she tends to scratch at her skin, and scratch at it until it bleeds.  Not fun.  The best we can figure is that it is from a reaction to eating a lot of wheat.

This has been an on going journey for about 10 months now, as we have done our best as parents to find out what's wrong and deal with it.  Taking her off wheat did seem to make it better.

When we recently started her back on wheat it only took a few weeks before the bumps appeared again.  But this story isn't about wheat it's about honey!

On a recent visit to my daughter's allergist I found out that the itching has caused bumps to reappear where she scratches.  These bumps have become infected with an over production of bacteria that is natural to the skin.

So the doctor starts sending in the prescription for antibiotics, and what do I say?  "I will wait on the antibiotics and try some honey on her skin."  I love the look of shock I get when I say things like that.

The doctor's look quickly turned from "oh boy lady you are one crazy parent", to "hmmm that's interesting", as I shared with her.  I told her that raw honey has both antibacterial (remember the over growth of natural bacteria making the bumps red) and anti-inflammatory properties in it.  Now she isn't sure if I'm crazy, but I did tell her I'll fill the antibiotics if the honey doesn't work.

An example of the "red bumps"
Antibiotics kill off the bad and the good bacteria in our intestines.  Who cares about a little bacteria?  You should.  70-80% of our immune system is dependant on the bacteria in our guts being healthy and strong, not killed by antibiotics.  I believe there is certainly a time and a place for antibiotics, and if you do need them please consider taking some probiotic acidolphalus (good bacteria in a pill- available at most grocery and health stores) to build your immune health back up again.  Drinking kefir is another good option.

Back to the little one... I applied the honey once a day to the bumps on her back.  In no more than two days the bumps were almost completely skin colored again.  There was one high up on her back I had missed and it was still bright red.

I am pretty sure now that we need to completely take her off wheat again, as the bumps have continued to spread and are on her legs now.  I am thankful that a little honey is such a big help.

The best kind of honey to buy is raw local honey.  Raw means it hasn't been heated above 120 degrees, at which temperature much of the nutrients are destroyed.  Local is great if you have allergies, as something in the honey is helpful to many people who suffer from allergies, as long as the honey is local and has the same allergens a person would be dealing with.

If you are wondering about the stickiness, well it is sticky, but not a big deal at the same time.  I just apply the honey then secure her onesie, or pull up her pants right after applying it.  A thin layer does the trick.

Funny story...  I noticed her legs today and so I put the honey on the spots, pulled up her pants to cover it, and went to wash my hands.  When I came back she was sitting on the couch with her pants pulled down, using her finger to get the honey off her leg and eat it.  Too cute!

Honey can also be applied to burns, as well as many other uses.  For other uses check out the Manuka Honey site!  :)

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